Try, Try, Try Again (Dressage Lesson Recap)

am groot
Seriously I might as well say the same thing over and over…

Very little riding last week ended up with me panicking and asking Emily if she had an opening for a lesson on Friday or Saturday. She squeezed me into a Sat slot so I was glad I was going to at least get some instruction before the CT event on Sunday a.m.

It actually…was not bad. Like kind of scary that it was not bad. I brought the saddle (the one I am still waffling on, does ANYONE know any saddle fitters? I have calls out to three!) and Emily took a look and said why don’t you ride in it? I am like ride in a jump saddle in my dressage lesson….and I look at Emily like she has two heads. She explains that she wanted to see me ride in it and it sat good enough on Remus it would not hurt him. And me being the true sport I am (laughing now) I said okay…I had brought the dressage saddle too but since the jump saddle was on him, I was more than game.

twohoeads
what???

So we adjusted it and I hopped on. Yes it was still as comfy as get out. Seriously, my new leather couch is a hair bit more comfy that this saddle but not by much. Remus was being a bit tense in his jaw which did not bode well for my arms that were sore from personal training at the gym and kickboxing as well so I was like okay it is going to be one of those DAYS. Whatever.

He likes to set his jaw and make me work for this kind of stuff quite often. And doing so wait-what_new.jpghe often puts his head too low (see mom I am on the bit albeit way too low that his poll is below where it should be). So it was a work in progress, bumping his trot forward and not using my hands to get him to move forward, and carry himself and then hopefully get on the bit and settle. He was a bit fussy but over all he was okay (for him).  Meanwhile, Emily was saying, um..your position is better in this saddle than in the dressage saddle…..cue my shocked expression.

I must admit I felt more secure riding Remus than I have in a LONG LONG time.  More to think on that later. Meanwhile we had to canter next. And I was dreading it (quick recap, ask for canter = buck so Michele does not ask for the canter, got it?) so I was kind of stalling. We started circling at a trot and asking for the canter then. I had to get Remus into a good working trot with his bending AND listening AND not having his head up in the air. And before I realized it, we were cantering. WITH no buck. I wasn’t even worrying about it because I felt so secure but then I realized it. We cantered quite a bit both ways and NO buck. AND we even cantered around the ring (not on a circle) and no buck. No breaking, no buck, like a normal horse (albeit a horse that can stick his nose up and pull like no one’s business if he wants to but mostly normal). Hmmm.

So after finishing the lesson up, Emily and I chatted and she mentioned again that I seemed to have more base and security in this saddle so therefore could RIDE Remus then get the work I needed out of him. She mentioned in the last few rides he has improved quite a bit but today was one of the better rides. It may not be the saddle but it definitely helped.

It was a great lesson and even though I thought my arms were going to fall off, it felt very productive. She mentioned that I don’t need two saddles for the eventing levels I show in (So true, I doubt we ever get out of Intro let alone move up to Beginner Novice, and with so many starter trials and combined training events around I don’t need to even aspire to recognized (Thank goodness but how cute would Remus be braided? Not that I am braiding!). So food for thought, buy one GOOD saddle that could do all three phases or try to ride better in my dressage saddle (Which I adore). More to come on all this later as I am going to Dover to meet with a friend and just SIT in some different saddles as well as I have contacted a few saddle fitters to see if we can get someone to bring some saddles out to try AND get them to look at this one my friend is selling (Shout out to her, I told her that I really liked the saddle but wasn’t sure it would work for Remus, she told me to keep it for now to see if I can get a fitter to look at it, what a nice person she is!).

Next up: Combined Training Event at Straight Up. Spoilers: Gorgeous weather and great time was had!! friends-640x360.jpg

9 thoughts on “Try, Try, Try Again (Dressage Lesson Recap)

  1. I ride in just my jump saddle for all 3 phases and it’s fine! And I braid for schooling shows, because that’s as fancy as we’re ever gonna get, LOL! But how awesome that you felt secure enough to just tell Remus to do his dang job – what a good boost!

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    1. you my friend are an over achiever (Braiding) but love you for it anyway 🙂 Good to know others do the one saddle thing. I would hate to sell my dressage saddle though but at least is an option 🙂 Yes it was VERY nice to actually canter and not stress about being flung off 🙂 (He really cant buck but I am very worried the more he does it the better he will get!) HA

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  2. it’s always amazing to me how much of a difference can be had with a saddle that works well for horse and rider! also can’t wait to read about the CT!

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  3. It’s amazing how much difference a saddle that you’re comfortable riding in can make. For a while I rode Subi in a saddle that fit him (my dreaded stubben that I got for the Hayley-Mare) that really fit him and his shoulders, but didn’t do me any favors. I think that saddle was the start of the end of my comfort-level on him (I mean I rode in it well for years but slowly started doing less and less). It was just too flat, too small (flaps, which made the seat feel small even though it was fine), and didn’t give me enough security when I needed it. I rode fine in it, but I rode more confidently in the saddle that didn’t fit him as well (eventually I less well made saddle that fit both of us and put me in a REALLY good position and aids me rather than hinders me/does nothing). There’s something to be said about fitting the rider too. Yes you should ideally fit the horse, but if you can’t ride confidently, that’s not going to work either. As I never had the budget for custom OR high end used…

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    1. exactly!! thanks so much. I was nodding my head reading your response! I cant believe how much better i felt in that saddle. I sat in a Tolouse (shudder) and a Pessoa (okay) yesterday at Dover but kept thinking how comfy that intrepid was!

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      1. Sitting in the used saddle room over at Rick’s in West Chester is also worth it. Though that’s how I ended up with a Tolouse (I know! I sat in 2 others that were terrible but this one just fit and is balanced and is like a couch and my horses love it and it even fits Ranger without pads thanks to him being a tank). A super wise mentor of mine told me to sit in everything I could afford and forget labels and cost and take what feels best. She rode with some big name dressage trainers for years with a $100 used wintec close contact because it fit and she rode well in it.

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  4. As someone with a fat palomino, I totally understand your fat horse problems. I am in the process of trying to find a jumping saddle that would fit, and I know I might need to give up my Dressage saddle too in order to afford what I need.

    Hopefully this saddle continues to lend you a bit of butt magic. 🙂

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